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Keywords:

  • microdroplets;
  • organoclay;
  • polyethylene glycol diacrylate;
  • microfluidics;
  • E. coli

Abstract

We developed a novel one-pot synthetic strategy for preparing monodisperse polyethylene glycol diacrylate (PEGDA) microdroplets via organoclay-assisted interfacial polymerization approach for Escherichia coli encapsulation. Based on the mechanism of spontaneous and rapid polymerization of PEGDA precursor solution with Mg-organoclay, the prepared PEGDA microdroplets have uniform size and fine round shape, with size range of 74–118 µm. The size of microdroplets can be controlled through the changing continuous phase flow rate. Organoclay-assisted polymerization method provides a unique environment to produce non-toxic ways of fabricating microorganism encapsulated microdroplets and to prohibit microdroplets merge during the processes. Furthermore, we successfully carried out to entrap E. coli inside of the PEGDA microdroplets. E. coli expressing a green fluorescent protein shows a good viability inside the PEGDA microdroplets. The in situ microfluidic synthetic method provides a novel approach for the preparation of monodisperse PEGDA microdroplets via a one-pot route. Biotechnol. Bioeng. 2012;109: 289–294. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.